USA Supreme Court de-criminalizes gay marriages
In a landmark opinion, the USA Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry nationwide (which was legal in 37 states), establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a historic victory. In the 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices. The White House was lit in rainbow colors to commemorate the Supreme Court decision.
The Stonewall riots that broke out as a result of fight between the police and gay people became the catalyst for the LGBT movement for civil rights in the United States. The riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights. As a result, gay rights groups started in nearly every major city in the United States.
On the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, America saw the first gay pride parades in four cities – New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles on 27 June 1970.
In 1973, the American Psychological Association's Board of Trustees voted to remove homosexuality from its diagnostic manual of mental disorders In 1978, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man elected to office in a major U.S. city. Rep. Barney Frank became the first openly gay member of Congress in 1987.
In 1986, SC criminalised oral and anal sex between consenting homosexuals. President Bill Clinton's government enacted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy preventing gays from openly serving in the military. Under it, an estimated 13,000 people were expelled from the U.S. Armed Forces. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act. Section 3 of the statute barred the recognition of same-sex marriages.
Vermont became the 1st state to allow "same sex couples to join their lives via civil unions." The state approved same-sex marriage in 2009.
President Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, named for two victims of hate crimes. The law required the FBI to track hate crimes based on gender and gender identity. It also gave the Department of Justice the power to prosecute criminals if their crimes were motivated by victim's race, religion or sexual orientation.
Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to back marriage for gay and lesbian couples in 2012, giving the movement a certain novelity. On 23 May 2013, members of the Boy Scouts of America's council vote to remove the ban against gay scouts. Exodus International, a group that claimed it could cure same-sex attraction via therapy closed down on 20 June 2013.
On 26 June 2013, in a 5-4 ruling, the United States Supreme Court justices struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) terming it as unconstitutional. The court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples who were legally married in their states, including social security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave.
President Obama tweeted in the ruling's support saying "Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins".